Saturday, February 4, 2012

FitBit vs. BodyBugg

When I was training this past fall at 24 Hour Fitness, my trainer was awesome enough to lend me a BodyBugg to use. I returned it today because I haven't been using it and he needs it for some of his other clients. But, I'm cool with that, because I just got a FitBit last week! Having had experience with both gadgets, here are my comparisons, in case anyone here is thinking of getting one or the other! Sorry in advance that this is going to be long.

Wearability

BodyBugg: You wear the BodyBugg on an armband around the upper part of your left arm. It has sensors that have contact with your skin. The first few days wearing the BodyBugg, it was no problem. Even a week or two in, it was fine. Then, it started to get annoying. It has a velcro bit on it so you can adjust how it fits. And it started poking me... and my skin was not pleased. I had a little bit of a rash where I was wearing the armband. Also, unless you are wearing a longsleeve shirt, the BodyBugg is very obvious.

FitBit: The FitBit is small, and there are many ways and places to wear it. You can clip it to an article of clothing, a pocket, a belt, or you can put it in a little holder and use that to clip it to something. Or, you can just throw it in your pocket. I like to clip mine to the center of my bra - no one even knows I am wearing it, except for me. Nice!

Computer/Website/Technical Stuff

BodyBugg: To get any information off your BodyBugg, you have to log into their website, and plug your BodyBugg into your computer via a USB cable. Then, it can tell you how many calories you have burned. Their website also has a food compontent where you can log your food. Okay. Their graphs and charts and stuff are cool. But their food database? HORRIBLE. TERRIBLE. Seriously awful. It is very limited and at least on my computer (a MacBook) took for-freaking-ever to load anything. I cannot tell you how many times I got so frustrated trying to log my food that I just quit logging for the day. Sometimes it would take me upwards of half an hour to log my food on the BodyBugg website.

FitBit: The FitBit has a display on the device. It has 1 button, and you can press the button repeatedly to scroll through information, including Steps Taken, Distance, Calories Burned, and Floors Climbed. It also has a clock. And a cute flower that gets bigger the more active you are. I like that you can check where you are at anytime of the day, even if you aren't near your computer! FitBit comes with a charger that also transmits your data to the FitBit website every 15 minutes if you are in range of it. (It has to be plugged into your computer for this to work - also with a USB cable.) I like that you don't HAVE to take it off and plug it in to see your results on the website. The FitBit website also communicates with MFP, if you so choose. (I DO!) That means I can log all my food over here at MFP, and MFP will tell FitBit what my calorie consumption is. If I exercise, FitBit will send a calorie admustment to MFP that adjusts my daily goal - that means I don't have to add my exercise on MFP in order to get my exercise calories. Yay! Less work for me. Plus, the MFP database is leaps and bounds ahead of BodyBugg's. It takes just a minute or two to enter food on MFP.

Both devices charge by being plugged into your computer via USB cable.

Setup

BodyBugg: When you first set up the BodyBugg there is a lot to do. The website takes you through a guided questionaire that asks the regular stuff like age, weight, height, but then also makes you fill out a long series of questions regarding food and lifestyle. It took about 20 minutes.

FitBit: To set up the FitBit, you plug in the base to your computer, and put the FitBit on the base. It asks you the same basic stuff as the BodyBugg - but stops after the basics. It was quite a bit quicker and easier than I expected.

Both devices require setting up accounts on their websites - this part is pretty fast and is basically putting in your email and selecting a password.

Cost

BodyBugg: I actually had to go to the website to find out how much a BodyBugg costs. BodyBuggs start at $129 and come with a limited-term membership on their website. After however long that is (I think it is like 5-7 months), you have to start paying for a membership to the BodyBugg website if you want to keep using it to track your information. At least, this is how I think it works. If I am incorrect here, feel free to correct me!

FitBit: My FitBit was $99. The use of the FitBit website is free. The use of MFP is free.

Accuracy

I'm not going to do 2 different things here - I think both of these work pretty well in terms of accuracy. Sometimes the FitBit overestimates the flights of stairs I climb, but that is due to the fact that it calculates stairs by elevation gain. Living in Denver... I think I'm just going to have to put up with it not gauging my stairs accurately. Oh well.

One more thing I like about the FitBit - if you didn't think it logged something accurately, it allows you to manually enter the activity/calories on their website. I never did figure out how, or even if you could, do that with the BodyBugg.

Sleep Tracking

One thing the FitBit does that the BodyBugg does not, is track your sleep. You definitely keep wearing your BodyBugg while you sleep, but it doesn't really track anything at all. The FitBit has a soft wrist holder for sleep, and you let it know you are going to sleep by holding down the button for 3 seconds until a stopwatch starts going. When you wake up in the morning, hold down the button again and turn the stopwatch off. This is how the FitBit knows how long you were asleep. It will also tell you how often you wake up during the night, and how efficient your sleep was. This past Wednesday night I slept for 9 hours and 15 minutes, and woke up 7 times in the night. My sleep efficiency for that night was 98%. This isn't necessarily something you need - but it is a pretty neat thing to track!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
FitBit. At least for me. =)

Okay... that is all I can think of to compare for now. If you have questions about one or the other, or have an idea of what else to compare - please let me know and I will edit the blog to include it! Hope this is helpful!

38 comments:

  1. Thanks. I was looking at both products, and your comments really help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking about getting a Fitbit and I agree with the anonymous person- very helpful review! Thank you! I'm super excited to most probably order the Fitbit soon. hehe :)

      Delete
    2. Sorry I have to disagree. I've had both of these and the BB is the best. The FB stops working if you sweat too much like me. I had the first one for 2 weeks & it died, Customer service sent me another one & the same thing happened. I've read where people have clipped it to different clothing pieces & have lost it. I will stick to the BB...

      Delete
  2. Thank you! That was EVERYTHING I was looking for! I've been trying to decide which would be better for me. So happy that you've posted this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much. I just bought a Fitbit but hadn't opened it yet because I started hearing all about the BodyBugg. So I was thinking of exchanging it. Now after your review I'm definitely keeping my Fitbit. Going to set it up tonight. Thanks for saving me the hassle of exchanging and I now honestly feel I got the better one. Also just so you know I also have the Fitbit scale which is also really cool. It will sync with your tracker and also MFP. So your weight and body mass all go straight to MFP or LoseIt.

    ReplyDelete
  4. can you tell me more about accuracy for calorie burn. i have a bodybugg and i know that it's very accurate... i wanted to get a fitbit for a friend but i'm not sure if it's accurate... thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. THANX!!! Now I will go buy the FB. Your review was super helpful!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you! I used to have a BB a couple years ago. I want another device but didn't feel like having the bigger device on my arm with my nice work clothes. The FB is going to fit my lifestyle- easy food logging, easier syncing, easier wear and now I can track my sleeping. Deceives like these work great for me to track my results, calories burned, throughout the day. It helps me realize, "oh, I could walk the dogs for 20 min when I get home from work and I'll reach my goal." I also love to see that little things like parking furthest in the parking lot or getting up from my desk to take a 5min walk break from my computer can really help throughout the day if I don't have time for a full work out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very helpful. I wore my body bug religiously for 6 months and would anxiously plug it into my computer to see my calories burned, the anticipation was killer! Then spend a half hour logging my food, half the time ingredient by ingredient since most foods weren't in the food library. I did lose 40 pounds by holding myself accountable. But, this was very time consuming. My work is actually giving me a fitbit for FREE! I have 10 more pounds to lose, so hopefully this will help keep me motivated with the instant gratification of seeing my calories and steps! Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anyone else have one that stopped while sweating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no and actually my Fitbit fell into the water and never stopped working. The battery also last longer than the Bodybug now called the Bodymedia.

      Delete
  9. Are both water resistant?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had a sweat problem with my first Fitbit. They exchanged it; I had just got it. There is a warning on that it is not water proof.

    Having said that I love my Fitbit. I bought a little case to use that protects it better while I'm working out.

    The new model Fitbit one, available Oct 1., says it is waterproof.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Super helpful! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  12. New to all this. Can you please tell me what you mean by MFP? Great comparison! I was also looking at the pros and cons.

    ReplyDelete
  13. MFP= MY FITNESS PAL

    An app and a website to track calories consumed, burned, etc.

    Pretty awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It sounds as if you didn't have that much success with the Bodybugg. But that's besides the point. My sister started me off on the bodybugg about 13 months ago when I was at 305 pounds. Since I needed "encouragement" I decided to go for it. After all, it didn't cost me anything then but since, I've replaced it once (on sale for $89) and have renewed it once for another 6 months at $34.95 (sale price).
    To make a long story very short, I've lost 112 pounds in 13 months and am very happy with the bodybugg. Yes, you have to wear it on your left arm but also by cleaning it and keeping the velcro at the same point that you tighten it solves two problems. Keeping the metal contacts clean will also keep your skin from getting red from wearing it. By keeping the arm band in the same position and taking it off by stretching it, will allow a longer life on the arm band.
    Overall, both the Bodybugg and the Fitbit are welcome additions to a weight loss program and one will fit your program more successfully than the other. You just need to figure out which one. For me, it was the bodybugg. Good luck with your weight loss programs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I applaud you for your weight loss-not an easy undertaking and hope that you keep the weight off.Great job-shows dedication and courage. I will go for the fitbit due to cost and am glad to learn that it now has an updated waterproof version-the comments were informatve. I am also on weight watchers and hate counting the points but have to do it... thanks for sharing.

      Delete
    2. I've been doing Weight Watchers on again, off again since the 80's...made lifetime at one point, but got burned out. Now I count calories on MFP and Fitbit...calories are actually easier, and there isn't as much "play" regarding free fruit, etc. It's black and white, and I get good results with it! :)

      Delete
    3. Hi, I also did WW and now track on SparkPeople. I also dont get the free Fruit and veg thing with WW tracking. In SparkPeople, my Fruit and veg count as calories as they sould. I drink a green smoothie and they are almost 375 calories alone so why would I not count that? Anyway, think I am going to get the FB1, it seems like less of a pain to me then the BB.

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a fitbit one, it has fallen off many times. I do work in a hospital so it is always fast pace, i do love it, but I have been thinking about getting a bodybugg so I know that it wont fall off. I also do think that the calories burned are off as I didn't wear it last night and when I went to put it on this morning it said that I had burned around 500 calories. I will be looking into the bodybugg more.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I do not wear my bodybugg at night but when I put it on in the morning it says I have burned about 500 calories as well. I think it is just accounting for the fact that you are burning some calories to keep your bodily functions going etc

    ReplyDelete
  18. I know this is a really old thread, but I wanted to comment on added calories for the FitBit when you aren't wearing. I read on the website that the FitBit calories burned includes your BMR, and from the the Anonymous comment above, it looks like Bodybugg does as well. FitBit uses the standard formula for your BMR using your current weight, height, and gender and adds these calories throughout the day.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much for this! I had a BB years ago, and now I'm interested in the FB. BB lost me when they wanted me to pay for membership after spending so much on the device. Without a membership the BB is useless-- or was, not sure how it is now. Thanks again for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the postings. They've been very helpful. When you're on a fixed income BB can be very expensive. FB seems like an affordable alternative. Also, I too dropped my WW membership. I stick to SparkPeople. Love it more and it's free. By dropping my WW membership, it helped me to afford a gym membership, which I'm loving. I know that BB got so much attention since being part of the BL. However, just because it's on BL doesn't make it the best. They're one of BL's advertisers. This year it's 24 hr fitness and in the past it was Planet Fitness. 24 hr is 4x's more expensive. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have used both. There are positives and negatives to either one. My frustration with the fitbit zip is it only holds one day's information at a time. So if I get home and want to sleep and forget to sinc it I have lost all that data the next day. A BB holds the data for two weeks so I don't have to sinc it everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've used the BB a couple years and loved everything about it except the membership fees. I purchased the watch for the BB so I was able to view my stats anytime and it would alert me when I reached my goals by beeping. I plan on selling my BB and buying the FB. Thanks for the review on the FB.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've purchased the FB about a month ago and love it. I was using CC to track my food intake, and have switched to Spark people once I started using FB. SP is a GREAT WEBSITE and I love how the information between FB and SP is seemless. FB allows you to download their app (free btw) onto your phone (iPhone or Galaxy) and sync's via wifi. I already preordered the FB Flex and hope it's just as good as the FB one.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great post! I have a BodyMedia device but I thought about getting the BodyBugg. I believe the two are similar in a few ways but I honestly like the fact that my BodyMedia stays on my upper arm...I often forget it's there. And syncing it to my phone over Bluetooth is easier than pie. I'm glad I didn't get the BodyBugg, but I wish I had looked a little more into Fitbit. Then again....I might forget that it's clipped to my jeans and throw it in the wash by accident!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Found a fit bit in the mall once on the ground with no way to return it. left it with security. very sad. BB is my choice, but i agree 100% with you about their HORRIBLE database!!! It is the worst and waiting for it to load is just the pits! So I used it to see my exercise and calories and did all my food logging with a different free program. I know it costs money to see my activity, but it was worth it in my eyes. Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I had the original FB and it died in about a month bc of all the sweat (I sweat a lot when I workout). Does anyone know if the new versions still have this problem? I'm thinking of getting it again.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Kaitlin, that was an awesome review. I had been looking for a comparison, since I just purchased fitbits for my wife and myself. I also belong to 24-hour fitness which sells the bodybugg. I do find the fitbit very convenient to use and their website tracking resources are great; very easy to understand and provides very useful information. The link with myfitnesspal is an added benefit, since I have been using mfp for a couple of years now. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I bet BL = Biggest Loser.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I bet BL = Biggest Loser.

    ReplyDelete
  30. If Fitbits are found call or email the company, the company is awesome! Our company uses FBs and Fitbit has replaced lost, broken and washed Fitbits without questions and at no charge. I have washed mine several times and I just let it sit out a couple of days and it works again. I have owned mine for 3 years!

    They have a new wrist band version. Maybe that will help our sweaty friends.

    ReplyDelete